Federal prosecutors today charged two Laredo men in connection with the kidnapping for ransom of illegal immigrants, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Prosecutors say John Pavon, 21, and Juan Manuel Ancira, 21, are charged with conspiracy to violate interstate communications by demanding money prior to releasing two hostages. They were ordered held without bond pending a court appearance on Friday.
Officials say agents traced a phone call made to a man in Wichita Kansas from a number in Laredo demanding $2,000 via Moneygram for the release of his son, who was being held captive.
In another case, a man in Louisiana received a call demanding $4,000.
When FBI agents were questioning people in the neighborhood where cell phone records indicated the calls originated, they found two men running out of a home, jumping over the fence, and hurrying away. They turned out to be the relatives of the people who received ransom demands.
The FBI says Pavon and Ancira held the victims against their will, threatening them with weapons, and denied them food.
If convicted, the two face up to twenty years in prison.